This article is designed to help participants that have participated in OTI projects that were organised by any organisation within OTI network and it's subisidiaries.

This guide is to help you organise your travel documents and travel cost statement in order for you to submit it for reimbursement as correctly as possible to our Accounting Department. The procedures described in this article are applied for any project that has been either funded by own resources, Erasmus+, Europe For Citizens, Creative Europe or other Horizon 2020 related funding schemes.

The Travel Cost Statement has instructions on how to complete it inside the excel file itself. The travel documents that should be accompanying the excel file should be all means of public transport from your home to the venue of the project activity.

The Public Transportation system of UK is one of the most efficient and well organised public transportation systems in Europe today.

Specifically the London Public Transportation system also known as TFL (Transport For London) is one of the most utilised and advanced systems.

 

We explain the methods of public transportation in London below:

Please note that you cannot buy any travel ticket on the bus from a bus driver or at any bus stop. You can obtain a travel ticket only at a bus station or train station from a machine or from a ticket officer at a station. 

- Oyster Card: 

An Oyster card can be obtained at any bus/train station that has a human resource operated office desk or at any kiosk or mini market thats has the Oyster logo appearing on their establishments. The initial cost of purchasing the card is £5 and this is not reimbursable. Though you may get a refund of this cost when returning the card back to a bus/train station.

If you choose to use the Oyster Card as a travel ticket in order to prove the travel costs, our Accounts Department requests a statement of travel. This statement indicates: distance from A to B, date and cost of the journey. You can issue a statement for your Oyster Card in two ways:

1. You register the Oyster Card online on www.tfl.gov.uk by completing a registration form online and by providing valid UK address and phone number and print an online statement from the tfl site. Please note that VISITOR Oyster cards (that look like this  ) cannot be registered online, so use option 2.

2. At any bus/train station you can "touch in" the Oyster card on the ticket issuing machine (that can also be used to top up the Oyster card), and then printing a statement from the selection panel on screen. (this is recomended if you are going to return the Oyster card back to a station office or using a VISITOR Oyster card).

You must always "touch in" and "touch out" (as shown in the image) at the begining of your journey at the entrance of a station and when exiting a train/underground station. You only "touch in" once only when using the bus.

- TFL or National Rails Paper Ticket:

A travel ticket can be obtained at any ticket issuing machine at any bus/train station or going directly to an officer that is working inside a ticket issuing office box.

When purchasing a ticket be careful that you have selected the correct from and to destinations as well as the date. Prices vary depending from where to where you are travelling. Some tickets combine rail services and underground trains. There is also an option to print a receipt for each ticket. We advise you to print a receipt because a ticket is captured on the last destination by the machine.

Paper Tickets issued by tfl look like the images below:

 

Please note that DAY TRAVEL Cards cannot be accepted to be reimbursed as it does not indicate journey from A to B. These tickets are considered as hardcopy cards and must be scanned and attached to the online platform and then be sent via post to the specified address with the rest of the hardcopy travel documents needed.

 

 

- National Express / Terravision / Other Public Transportation:

Usually airports that are outside Zone 6 use other public transportation methods such as National Express buses, Terravision or any other public transportation company. This travel option can be reimbursed when a boarding ticket (booked and issued either online or at an office) and and invoice is submitted to the Accounts Department online platform. If the ticket was issued online then attach the pdf with the Travel Cost Statement on the online platform. If the ticket is a hardcopy card then these must be scanned and attached to the online platform and then be sent via post mail to the specified address with the rest of the hardcopy travel documents needed.

 

All methods mentioned above can only be reimbursed for the days of travel from/to a project. This means that extra days using the public methods above cannot be reimbursed.

 

- Flight Ticket:

The Accounts Department has established a policy that Private Travel Agencies will not be considered to be reimbursable anymore because of profiteering above real costs. Erasmus+ is very strict on the cost policies that all costs need to be value for money and cost efficient. The Account Deparment has the right to reduce or reject any flight cost if it is considered not to be value for money.

Flight Tickets eligible for reimbursement are only online bookings from any available online flight booking platform.

In very rare cases that has been agreed prior to purchase of flight tickets, travel agencies may be approved, but again reasonable explanation as value for money needs to be kept.

For any eligible Flight Ticket to be reimbursed by the Accounts Department at least the following must be accompanying the Travel Cost Statement:

- Flight Booking Invoice including the name of passenger, PNR Booking Code, From/To, Flight Number, Dates of Travel, Price (in any currency), Date of issue, Airline Name, Purchase details etc. This can be submitted to the Accounts Department via the online platform.

 

- At least ONE (1) Boarding Passes for each flight. The arrival boarding pass and the return boarding pass. If more than one flight was used to get from your home to the venue then for each flight you need to submit 1 boarding pass. Each boarding pass needs to indicate the flight time and date, name of passenger, from/to, seat number, boarding bar code and other travel details usually printed on a baording pass. If the boarding pass is issued originally online, then these should be attached to the online platform with the Travel Cost Statement. If the boarding pass was issued as a hard copy (paper boarding card), then these must be scanned at attached to the online platform with the Travel Cost Statement and after sent by post mail with all the other hardcopy original travel documents needed.

 

- International Rail Services / ICE / Eurostar  etc:

For any eligible International Rail service to be reimbursed you must provide and attach on the online platform with the Travel Cost Statement:

- Booking Invoice including the name of passenger, Booking Reference, From/To, Dates of Travel, Price (in any currency), Date of issue, Rail Name, Purchase details etc. or

- Boarding Ticket for each jounrey. The arrival boarding ticket and the return boarding ticket or any other valid travel ticket of the journey. This document should indicate, ticket number, From/To, Dates of Travel, Price (in any currency), Date of issue, Rail Name, Purchase details etc.

 

- Other Costs:

- No other costs are eligible for travel reimbursement unless agreed with the hosting organisation prior to purchase.

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Testimonials

"Where Do I Belong?" Youth Exchange - Romania was an experience I wish everyone could have. The project focused on many topics that we deal with on a daily basis such as migration, refugees, inequality, barriers of different kinds that we both face and place for others to overcome. All activities were interactive and challenged the participants to come up with creative ideas, solutions or performances in a short period of time. The activities were made in a way to interact with people from different nationalities, religions & backgrounds and to question all our beliefs and cultural norms. 

Everything we did was inspiring and entertaining, a way to learn by doing and a way to learn from the others. I enjoyed every single moment and strongly recommend participating to anyone who enjoys international environment and learning in unconventional ways. 

Thank you all for being who you are, sharing your thoughts and ways of doing and special thanks to the organizers who outdid themselves! :)

Maria Kovalenko from Bulgaria

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